Islamabad, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Party Chairman Imran Khan has vowed to bring the country’s army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under civilian control if he won the next general election.
He added that he would step down as prime minister if Pakistan’s military continued to rule with an upper hand over civilians under his regime.
“Unless I can implement my agenda – which means I take responsibility for everything that’s happening in Pakistan, it means that the army is under me, it means the ISI can do nothing unless it reports to me, it means that the army’s budget is audited by a civilian setup, it means I take responsibility for anything that’s happening outside my country, it means I take responsibility that no terrorism will take place from Pakistani soil – otherwise, I would resign,” the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.
Pakistan’s army has played a pivotal role in shaping the country’s foreign and security policy, especially policies related to the US and India.
Pointing out that the army was controlling the situation in Balochistan province, the Tribal Areas and Swat with “no civilian input”, Khan pledged to end such a situation if he came to power.
He gave the examples of powerful leaders like Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who never allowed the army’s interference in the country’s internal matters.
He expressed confidence that his party would perform well in the next elections because the electronic media had raised the level of political awareness and President Zardari had “exposed the true face of Pakistani politics”.
He listed economic problems and terrorism as the two major challenges confronting Pakistan, and said he would stimulate the economy by increasing the collection of taxes.
Khan said he would also make it mandatory for people to declare their assets for contesting elections.